When street addresses are too hard to remember, just keep three words in mind.
Forget latitude and longitude because Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to adopt a method splitting the entire world up into combinations of three words. The results are bizarre. For example, as opposed to giving someone the street address of Mercedes’ factory in Sindelfingen, Germany, a person could get a route there by entering staples.system.habit in a supported navigation system.
The weird idea comes from the firm What3words. The company splits the globe into squares that are 9-foot-10-inchs (3-meters) long and wide. It then assigns these plots with a three-word combination.
According to the business, the advantage of this system is that it allows for easy navigation to places without a street address, for example getting someone to a certain section of a public park. Latitude and longitude coordinates would do the same thing but would be much more complicated to share with another person.
“You can enter your destination by speaking just three words and are then guided there to within an accuracy of nine square meters. Anywhere in the world,” Sajjad Khan, Vice President of Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler, said.
Mercedes will introduce a vehicle with a What3words-compatible navigation system within the next six months. It has a demo of the system at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
It seems difficult to believe that the What3words system could disrupt the age-old use of street addresses or latitude and longitude coordinates. Today, most people navigate using a device that can connect to the Internet and GPS satellites. By using this pair of sources, there isn’t much difficulty in getting anywhere. This alternative doesn’t seem to solve a very big problem.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz What3words navigation
Mercedes-Benz to become first automotive manufacturer to use innovative
The world in three words
Stuttgart/Frankfurt. A new coordinate system organises the world: founded in 2013, what3words assigns three words to every point on Earth, making locations easily and unambiguously identifiable – even where there are no addresses. Mercedes-Benz will be the first automotive manufacturer to use the new address system. How it is used for navigation purposes can be experienced live at the Mercedes-Benz stand (///demnächst.entdeckt.wort or ///bricks.sending.able) in Hall 2, Level 1 at the IAA in Frankfurt.
Conventional address systems are unsuitable for many everyday needs. For example, there are many areas of the world where there are no addresses – such as away from settlements, in parks, forests or mountains. On top of that, addresses can be imprecise or ambiguous, e.g. if there is more than one instance of the same street name. Although every location on Earth can be identified by its GPS coordinates, who can memorise the complicated sequences of numbers?
Founded in 2013 as a start-up, what3words has divided the world into 57 trillion squares measuring three metres by three metres and assigned three words to each square. This means that every one of these locations is unambiguously identified and easy to memorise. An algorithm uses its vocabulary of 25,000 words in such a way that any combinations liable to be confused are kept well apart and so that both humans and machines are easily able to notice mistakes when entering an address. The system is now available in 14 languages.
With this simple and ingenious idea, what3words won the attention of Daimler and CEO Dieter Zetsche and was selected in February 2017 for the second programme of the innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN. As a result, Mercedes-Benz will within the next six months become the first automotive manufacturer to exclusively unveil the address system as a standard navigation solution in a car. Visitors to the IAA in Frankfurt can try it out from 12 September at the Mercedes-Benz stand in the Frankfurter Festhalle (trade fair hall 2).
"With what3words' easy address entry method, we're adding another logical element to our navigation system," says Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility, Daimler AG. "You can enter your destination by speaking just three words and are then guided there to within an accuracy of nine square metres. Anywhere in the world. All I can say is: simple.ingenious.innovative."
Visit this link to try out the what3words system for yourself: https://map.what3words.com. If, for example, you enter ///meister.fahrende.fackel (///lottery.jotting.inched) as your destination, you will end up at the world's first petrol station, in the Stadtapotheke Wiesloch, where there is a plaque in memory of the pioneering journey made by Bertha Benz. And anyone wishing to pick up their new E-Class straight from the factory in Sindelfingen should enter ///ausfahrt.eulen.ewig (///staples.system.habit) as their destination.